DEQ issues annual report on solid waste management

Virginia DEQThe Virginia Department of Environmental Quality has released its annual report on solid waste management in Virginia.

The report provides the amount of solid waste managed in Virginia in 2019, as well as the types and sources of solid waste generated outside the commonwealth.

Solid waste includes municipal solid waste, construction and demolition debris, industrial waste, vegetative and yard waste, and other types of waste.

During 2019, the total amount of solid waste received at Virginia facilities increased by more than 724,725 tons, or approximately 3.3 percent from the amount reported in 2018. About three quarters of the waste originated in Virginia with the remainder coming from other states.

The total amount of solid waste from outside of Virginia increased by 13 percent with 43 percent of the waste coming from industrial sources.

The annual report on solid waste management presents detailed and comprehensive information from permitted facilities about waste management for local planning authorities.

Some key findings of the report include:

  • A total of 22.53 million tons of solid waste was received at Virginia’s permitted solid waste management facilities, an increase of 3.3%.
  • Approximately 16.75 million tons originated in the commonwealth and 5.78 tons originated from other jurisdictions.
  • Approximately 14.27 million tons or 63% of the total 22.53 million tons were municipal solid waste, which is trash from households and businesses.
  • For wastes generated in Virginia, the total amount increased by 0.27%. Municipal solid waste increased by 0.39%. Waste classified as construction and demolition debris increased by 3.3% and industrial waste decreased by 11.2% compared to 2018.
  • Five jurisdictions accounted for 97% of waste received from out-of-state sources: Maryland, Washington, D.C., New York, New Jersey and North Carolina.
  • Approximately 13.81 million tons (73%) is disposed in landfills, and about 2.2 million tons (12%) is incinerated. The remainder was managed by other means, including composting, mulching and recycling.
  • Facilities reported that 7.5% of the waste they managed was diverted from disposal by recycling or mulching and just over 1% was composted. Most recycling occurs at facilities other than permitted waste management facilities included in this report.

The complete annual report on solid waste management in Virginia is available on the DEQ website at www.DEQ.Virginia.gov.


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